Sunday, February 21, 2010

Strength Conference & ideas for training when "On the Road"

Just getting back from a great weekend at the Strength and Conditioning Summit at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. This event, brought to reality by the faculty and staff at the University and spearheaded by Dr. Lisa Colvin (a top age group triathlete at the Olympic distance and former athlete of mine) brought in the top Strength and Conditioning Coaches in the country to present on various topics and the latest research in the field. NFL luminaries we're all over the place including several coaches with Super Bowl victories. Coach Dan Reeves, formerly a coach with the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos was the keynote speaker on Friday night and Chris Mortensen of ESPN was the speaker yesterday at a luncheon. My role was to talk about multisport training plan development concepts and ideas, and then to run a short cycling and swimming clinic on Saturday morning. It was a great event and an honor to be invited to present. Oh, and the jambalaya was incredible!!

As any of you who travel for work can attest, traveling makes it hard to focus on your training. Obligations for work, restaurant food, time in the airport and getting from one place to another, flight delays, busted or overcrowded treadmills at the hotel gym, etc. make the best conceived plans to train consistently go the wayside at times. I've learned to live with the uncertainty of if - or when I'll get my training done when I'm traveling for work, but sometimes it can be frustrating.

I have a few strategies that do seem to work I'll share with you:
1. Get the training done early in the morning before the workday begins. Evening obligations with co-workers and/or clients usually prevent any late day workouts from happening.

2. Plan in advance. Try to call ahead to make sure the hotel has a decent workout facility or if there's one nearby. Many hotels will have a relationship with a nearby health club, like a Life Time Fitness.

3. Bring stretch cords. I do some dryland training in the hotel room with my cords to take the place of swimming.

4. Run, run, run. Running is my focus when I travel. I try to rack up some good run volume on the 3-4 days I'm on the road, and then focus on the bike before and after the trip for a few days.

5. Stationary bikes. Where there is a good stationary bike, I focus on short workouts and using big gears / low cadence for strength maintenance. (Example: w/up 5 minutes, 10 minutes of 'grindn' it out' at 60-70 rpms, 5 min cooldown).

6. Eat 'healthy'. It's so easy to overdo the calorie intake when on the road. Breakfast for me will include a bagel / cream cheese and perhaps a little bit of egg at the hotel breakfast bar. I'll snack on an energy bar, like a Clif bar or other organic product. Lunch will include a sandwich, fruit and maybe a salad. Dinners can be difficult depending on where and who you eat with, but I try to keep it simple with a piece of chicken, fish or steak and a plain baked potato (that's it!).... oh, and an adult beverage or two. I find that a simple diet plan keeps me going until I can get home and back into my normal eating routine.

So, traveling makes training for competition a challenge... but it's all part of the game for so many of us! Just have a plan to shift your workouts accordingly, do what you can do, be flexible and try not to get frustrated if your plans don't pan out.

Train smart,
Coach Troy


  1. Great ideas for traveling.
    It's alway a challenge and you have to be creative. I've run up and down a short dead end road with my husband standing guard! :) Sometimes have run in the middle of downtown sure that everyone was watching but no one paid any attention. Finding a good place to eat in a small town can be the biggest challenge.

  2. I completely agree with you! It's so easy to get away from your training while you're on the road, but these simple tips are easy enough to follow. Now if you could add one more tip on getting out of bed at 4:30 in the morning instead of rolling over and hitting snooze!

  3. I travel a lot and find if I don't get my workout (99% of the time run) in early, something comes up with work or something that makes it so I can't do it. I like the idea of stretch cords, I am adding it to my packing list. Thanks!

  4. Troy was one of the highest rated speakers at our conference. He is simply one of the best lecturers and clinical leaders I have been associated with (and I have been in the business for 24 years).

    Troy's presentation and Q&A session makes him one of the best in the business. I am fortunate that Troy would be so gracious as to come to Monroe, Louisiana to The Summit of Strength & Conditioning and Sports Medicine Leaders. He was chosen by our panel as the best of the best in his discipline...that is why he was invited.

    Troy lectured along side Strength & Conditioning legends Dr. Don Chu, Al Vermeil, Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, Al Miller, Saints Bill Johnson, Dr. Mike Stone, Johnny Parker, Barry Rubin and Darren Holmes. An all star cast of sports medicine giants included Dr. Allston Stubbs, Dr. Brett Cascio, Rob Panariello and Steve Antonopoulos.

    Am I biased because Troy is my coach and when I get well he will coach me again to another World Championship?? Yes. The Spinervals session he conducted was EXACTLY the intensity you see on his DVDs…what you see IS what you get.

    I encourage you to attend one of his training camps. If you are looking to improve your performance and get them most out of training (for competition or pleasure), Troy Jacobson is the only choice to make.

  5. A good way to ensure a great hotel gym is to check out before you leave for your next trip. Also be sure to write reviews about the facility. We're a new website so we really need people to write reviews.